Health as a Principal Determinant of Economic Growth
For a long time economists have tended to ignore health as a relevant factor of production and important determinant of economic growth. The widely observed positive relationship between health expenditures and economic growth was considered the result of a strong positive income effect. However, gradually more and more economists have come to recognise that the relationship between health and economic growth is not only demand driven, but that health is also an important determinant of economic growth. The latter has mainly been recognised on the basis of empirical cross-country studies, starting for developing economies (see Strauss and Thomas, 1998, for an overview) and later also covering Western economies (Knowles and Owen, 1995; Barghava cs., 2001; McDonald and Roberts, 2002; Webber, 2002). However, until this day only few attempts have been made to present a coherent account of the causal links between health and economic growth....
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